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Daisy, Princess of Pless (1873-1943)
John Singer Sargent -- American painter 
Private collection
Charcoal on paper, "Mug" 
61 x 48.3 cm (24 x 19 in.)
signed John S. Sargent, l.r. 
Jpg: Sothebys

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From:  Matt Davies 
Matt D
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2002 

Daisy, Princess of Pless was born Mary Theresa Cornwallis-West, the daughter of Col. William and Mrs. 'Patsy' Cornwallis-West (a favorite of the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII) of Ruthin Castle, Wales. In 1891 Daisy married Prince Hans Heinrich of Pless, one of the richest of the German princes. 

Daisy also had a younger sister known as Constance (also known as 'Shelagh' form her childhood), Duchess of Westminster. In 1900 (I believe) her younger sister 'Shelagh' (Constance) married 'Bendor,' the Duke of Westminster, one of the richest, if not the richest, of English nobles.  Her mother's reputation as a matchmaker was obviously well-respected after she had married her two daughters off to such wealthy men.  Around the same time (1900 or perhaps 1901), the girls' brother, George Cornwallis-West, married Lady Randolph Churchill (nee Jennie Jerome of New York, U.S.A.), widow of Lord Randolph Spencer-Churchill and mother of Winston Churchill.  She was significantly older than he - he was actually a contemporary of her son's!  It was a scandal in Society, but the couple were both well connected to the Prince of Wales (soon to become King Edward VII in 1901), and his support helped them stand firmly in their positions. 

Daisy of course later endured much trouble during World War I, as her English birth was a problem for her when World War I broke out and she was married to a German prince. All three marriages of the Cornwallis-West siblings eventually ended in divorce. George was re-married to a famous Edwardian actress, whose name I believe was Stella, Mrs. Patrick Campbell. In the 'Literature' section you have copied over from Sotheby's [see below], there are references to a couple of her books she later wrote about her life, Daisy Princess of Pless, By Herself and The Private Diaries of Daisy, Princess of Pless.

From: Sothebys
This drawing will be included in the forthcoming J.S. Sargent catalogue raisonné by Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray, in collaboration with Warren Adelson and Elizabeth Oustinoff. 

Daisy, Princess of Pless Constance, Dutchess of Westmister Acquired by the present owner in 1978 

Leeds, England, Leeds Art Galleries at Lotherton Hall; London, England, National Portrait Gallery; Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Institute of Arts, John Singer Sargent and the Edwardian Age, April-December 1979, no. 70, pp. 84-85, illustrated p. 85 

Princess Daisy of Pless, Daisy Princess of Pless by Herself, London, England, 1928, illustrated as frontispiece Princess Daisy of Pless, Tanz auf dem Vulkan, vol. I, Dresden, Germany, 1929, illustrated between pp. 8-9 D. Chapman -Huston, ed. The Private Diaries of Daisy Princess of Pless 1873-1914, London, England, 1950, illustrated as frontispiece W. John Koch, Schloss Fürstenstein-Erinnerungen an einen schlesischen Adelissitz-Eine Bilddokumentation, Würzburg, Germany 1989, no. 127, p. 83, illustrated W. John Koch, Daisy von Pless-Fürstlich Rebellin, Frankfurt, Germany, 1990, pp. 101-103, illustrated p. 27 W. John Koch, Daisy, Princess of Pless, A Discovery, Edmonton, Alberta, to be published April 2002 (ISBN 0-9683627-7-X), illustrated as frontispiece 

Special thanks to Matt Davies, of Kansas City, for being a contributing member of the JSS Gallery.

Sold Sothebys 22 May 2002; lot 55 (212 lots in this auction); Sale N07802; $89,625

Created 5/7/2002